The only answer to save pets’ lives is spaying and neutering

Published 9:26 am Friday, May 4, 2012

I hope that everyone in Decatur County will read this and consider it carefully. If it makes sense to only a handful, it will make me happy. But if it makes sense to a bigger part of our population, I will be really, really happy.

There is a huge overpopulation of unwanted dogs and cats in Decatur County. Our Bainbridge Humane Society is often forced to euthanize animals that are brought into the shelter, simply because of the lack of room and money. “Simply” is probably the wrong term, because the process involves tears and heartache on the part of the shelter directors and staff. They work at the shelter because they love animals. This is the most terrible part of their lives.

The answer — the only answer — is to spay or neuter. And I think we are intelligent enough to make this happens. If you have doubts, please consider this:

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Female cats and dogs that continuously “come into heat” are at a much greater risk of mammary cancer. A spay operation early in life almost completely takes this risk away, eliminating medical bills later on. Not to mention, it decreases the chance of losing a pet that has been a beloved part of your family.

Males that are not neutered are more aggressive and likely to wander. Who knows what diseases they might bring home to you and your children? Rabies? Worms? And, of course, medical bills, if they come home injured from a fight.

If you want the kids to see “the miracle” of birth, trust me, this usually happens in the dead of night when everyone is asleep. Your kids won’t see it. But you, the “parents,” will certainly have many sleepness nights if there are problems with the birth. If you want a cute, squirmy puppy — why not adopt one from the shelter? You can save a life. And save yourself medical bills. Not to mention, trying to pawn off 10 puppies.

If you are breeding to make money, please reconsider. It’s a lot of work cleaning up after 10 puppies. It takes eight weeks before you can sell them. They need to be vetted beforehand, if you want good money from them. Those medical bills might be even bigger if “Momma” has any problems. It’s messy and time-consuming and there are no guarantees that you’ll see all the pups, especially if the kids get attached to them.

But the most important thing is that every pup you breed means that another dog, somewhere, in some shelter, will be euthanized. It’s because you took away a good home by your greed. Is that something you want on your conscience?

Our Bainbridge Humane Society tries to help with spay-neuter vouchers for folks who can’t quite afford it on their own. And there’s a new program in Bainbridge called the Marley Memorial Free Spay-Neuter for Cats (call 229-400-5610). There are many more programs out there in Georgia, if you are handy at searching for things on the Internet.

Solving the problem of pet overpopulation in our county will not be easy. And it might never completely go away. But it will impossible if we don’t try.

Sally Miller